HALIFAX, Nova Scotia — I am not sure I can yet put into words what this trip means to Sidney Crosby and me, too. There is a touching and inspiring quality that will take some time to truly comprehend, but I’m chronicling it as well as I can. The Penguins’ practice also featured a new line combination as Radim Zohorna is set for his big chance. Also in the Daily, the Patrick Kane sweepstakes is picking up, perhaps faster than it should. Nick Robertson is fighting for his place in Toronto, and former Penguins center Brandon Sutter called an end to his tryout with the Edmonton Oilers, opting for retirement despite positive reviews of his performance.
I have checked all of the boxes in Halifax. A donair. A Keith’s beer. Fish and chips. Oland’s Export beer. The Citadel. And Sidney Crosby’s home arena. This is something special, and this place is special. The trip is like Sidney Crosby’s origin story, and the quintessential Crosby moment I’ll call your attention to is in the PHN+ story.
It was a subtle moment that I immensely appreciated.
Our new colleague at Sportsnet Pittsburgh asked Crosby about the endless fundraisers he undertook to afford to play hockey. He shrugged, “That was the only way I was playing.”
There was no admission that it was tough or unfair. He just did it because that’s what he needed to do. That simple.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The one thing Sidney Crosby regrets from his rookie year and his advice for Connor Bedard. A great story by Dave Molinari from the Penguins locker room.
From Halifax, the practice with a couple of thousand people, chanting kids, and Crosby’s youth clinic with Evgeni Malkin throwing gloves at kids to the laughter of everyone. And new Penguins lines with a big tryout. Check out the Penguins practice.
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PHN+: Crosby was emotional. Kris Letang was touched. The boys ate local food. And Mike Sullivan explained it all. Here’s the story and video I referenced above — The origin story of Sidney Crosby.
First–the update on the injured Kenny Pickett.
Let’s see how serious the Steelers are. They were embarrassed by the Houston Texans, a team that most assumed the Steelers would beat. The Steelers were out-everything’d. Finally, it appears the Steelers coaches will make changes.
Matt Canada. Kenny Pickett. Pretty much everything. Nick Farabaugh’s takeaways from the Steelers’ loss.
Damn, that was ugly. But I also enjoyed it. Things don’t change until there’s pain. The Steelers organization needs pain.
Pittsburgh Baseball Now:
First, I’d like to congratulate John Perrotto on 36 seasons of covering baseball. We’ll make damn sure there is a 37th.
That’s a wrap. The Pirates shut out the Marlins, 3-0. Get the quickie Pirates recap.
I still can’t remember which media member I bet $100 the Pirates would get the over on 74 wins. Oh well. I don’t suppose they’ll tell me either.
David Bednar recalled the 2013 Wild Card game, and he’s also anxious to have his moment. The Pirates feature.
And Tim Wakefield, the outfielder turned knuckleballer who resurrected his career in the Pirates farm system, died at age 57.
NHL Rumors, News & National Hockey Now:
Detroit Hockey Now: The smoldering NHL rumor mill keeps tying Patrick Kane to the Detroit Red Wings.
Sportsnet: After positive reviews on his comeback attempt from long COVID, former Pittsburgh Penguins, Carolina Hurricanes and Vancouver Canucks center Brandon Sutter has retired.
TSN: The Ducks snapped up former first-round pick Lassi Thomson on waivers.
Keep an eye on this kid. I wonder if Kyle Dubas would pounce if he becomes available. Nick Robertson is running out of time to make the Toronto Maple Leafs.
NYI Hockey Now: There is some intrigue around the Islanders. They should be much better than they have been. The storylines of the New York Islanders preseason.
Washington Hockey Now: Like the Penguins, the Capitals have some kids fighting for a bottom-six role but are trying to solve the penalty kill. Keep your eyes on the Washington Capitals.
Carolina Hockey Now: There’s a second-round pick making some waves in Carolina. Unger Sorum. He’s looked good in a few preseason games, and Carolina is trying to figure out what to do with the kid. It’s a complicated situation because Carolina doesn’t have an AHL team. Here’s the situation with the Unger Sorum and the Carolina Hurricanes.
Boston Hockey Now: It seems Alex Chiasson’s career is over. He was released from his PTO by the Boston Bruins.